In the spirit of Nora Ephron
The great writer, director, and film producer, Nora Ephron, died yesterday at the age of 71. To close her book titled I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections she created a list of the things she would and would not miss. So in the spirit of Nora Ephron, I offer this list of things I will and will not miss. Things I will not miss: make-up automobiles 100+ degree heat in the summer Sarah...
Life, as it is in waterskiing
I’ve only been water skiing once in my life. I was 12 years old. A friend of mine invited me to go out on a boat with her family one Saturday. I was so excited. Finally, late in the afternoon the adults decided that I could try the water skiing. I lowered myself into the lake, handed my glasses to my friend (which rendered me practically blind), then put my feet into the too big pair...
I love this word. I cannot recall when I first heard it, but I remember that I had to look up its meaning and contemplate it for a while. Equanimity means steadiness of mind under stress. Synonyms for this word are serenity and aplomb. I recall listening to the news coverage of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. I heard several stories about the calm demeanor of the Japanese people in the...
Married to PowerPoint
Cate Blanchett, portraying Queen Elizabeth I in the 1998 filmElizabeth, held out her hand to display her royal ring and exclaimed to her close advisor Lord Burghley, “Look Lord Burghley, I am married to England!” When it comes to making presentations, we spend so much time over the glow of our computers creating slides that we might as well be married to PowerPoint. Typically a...
Of watermelons and teamwork
Last week I was listening to CNN and the news anchor Christine Romans was interviewing a couple of career planning experts on job interview skills. Ms. Romans was commenting on people who tell interviewers that they are a team player. The experts giggled and went on to say that telling someone you are a team player is like saying that you breathe air, you need to give some examples or tell a...
The Mystery of Grace
“I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.” —Anne Lamott I have thought a lot about grace lately, especially since we haven’t seen much of it in our state or national discourse on things like funding for education in the past week. The conversation has been so hateful that it has left me with a feeling of...
Crawling up the rabbit hole
I love the book “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” I’ve loved the book ever since I was a child and I have no lack of Alice mementos scattered about my home and office. And as I think about the events in my life over the last three months, I feel a bit like Alice falling down that rabbit hole into the unknown. kerplunk! Life has felt a little dream-like since the loss of my beloved...
The Myth of Multitasking
As I look around my desk I see numerous tasks waiting for my attention—and that doesn’t count the requests and demands currently sitting in my email inbox. What I have learned about myself over the years is that I can only do one thing at a time. Interestingly, research over the last decade now suggests that our national pastime of multitasking as a means of being more efficient is really a...
How parents influence careers
One Sunday last spring I read a touching article in the Austin American Statesman about how a man’s father influenced his career decisions. The article was written by a journalist and described the values of his farmer father. While the author did not follow his father into the farming business, he did follow the values his father exhibited when farming times were tough due to drought, etc. ...